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Financial outlook grows more bleak

POSTED: September 30, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The Dawson County commission plans to move about $220,000 from its reserves as the final step in trimming nearly $5 million from the 2009 operating budget.

  

The county has also cut staff and spending, delayed projects and furloughed workers to lower the budget to about $22.9 million.

  

The changes come in the wake of declining revenue from permits, fees, fines and tax collections.

  

Presenting the ’09 mid-year budget revision last week, County Manager Kevin Tanner said nearly every county revenue source has dropped.

  

“The amount [from reserves] could be more or less depending on changes to [tax] collections,” he said.

  

With the reduction, the county would be operating on a budget similar to that of 2007, a situation he said several other counties are also facing.

  

After using $220,000, the county would have about $3.1 million in reserves to begin 2010.

  

The commission acknowledged the county is cutting to the bone when it must use reserve funds to operate.

  

Commissioner Mike Connor asked Tanner if he had taken a look at every position in the county to see if additional cuts were possible.

  

“I have looked at the positions and we are looking internally at how we operate, making sure we’re being efficient and if we can combine services that departments are performing to save money,” Tanner said. “Not just in personnel, but in supplies, costs and that kind of thing.”

  

Commissioner James Swafford agreed.

  

“If it keeps going down, we may have to cut more,” Swafford said.

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